MUST-READ: Kowalsky’s Finally Fed Up

After weeks of telling reporters that his team had played well when they really hadn’t, and weeks of sticking up for some of his players when they really didn’t deserve it, Trenton Devils head coach Rick Kowalsky finally vented his frustration after another impossibly bad performance by his team.

Here are his post-game quotes:

“That was worse than yesterday.  We didn’t play tonight.  We didn’t play hard.  They came to play and we didn’t.  We played soft, selfish, just weak hockey.  We looked like, through two periods, like we were in a different league.  Unacceptable.”

“It’s different things every night.  It’s just a matter of doing things hard for sixty minutes.  We don’t have enough depth offensively to win games solely on that, so we need everybody.  And we’re not getting everybody.  Guys that are supposed to be good for us are not good for us consistently.  The bottom half of our lineup is not working their ass off, or finishing their checks and doing what we ask, so you get what happens tonight.  These guys better figure out real fast that it’s going to take all 18 guys in the lineup, because there’s seven, eight guys sitting in the press box that are going to play.  So that means there’s seven, eight guys that have got to leave that room.  It may not happen at once, but it’s going to happen sooner or later.  Tonight was a tryout for some guys, and there may be some surprises when those decisions have to be made, I can tell you that much.”

“We’re constantly talking (about bringing in new players).  After efforts like that, I’ll probably be on the phone a lot more than I originally planned tomorrow and Monday.”

“Obviously, not having another capable goaltender here affects you.  Tonight, would I have switched things up?  Probably.  Sometimes, like you said, as a coach you do things sometimes just to shake things up and it’s not always the goaltender’s fault.  We’re working on getting another guy in here, but it’s not that easy this time of year.”

“We can’t go with an emergency backup all year.  We’re talking, but it’s not an easy thing to find at this time of year.”

“You win as a team and you lose as a team.  The ball’s in (Jason Smith’s) court right now.  He’s the number one guy right now and he has to embrace that.  Now with that said, he didn’t get much support tonight, but I didn’t think he was that good tonight.  Last night, say what you want about fluky goals, but if he manages to stop one of those things, we could at least get a point.  This is his chance.  He went through this last year and he has to step up.  Again, it’s not just him, there’s a lot of guys in that room that have major consistency issues.  I’ll take a loss when you work hard.  Last night was kind of a real strange situation, I don’t necessarily think it was a letdown, but we played hard, we were the better team and we lost.  It’s tough to swallow, but you can accept it.  But tonight was unacceptable.  It was unacceptable effort.  Guys not finishing their checks, winning battles, that’s just basic hockey that as a pro, if you don’t do, you won’t stick around long.”

“The way I see it, right now they owe me about 50, 60 minutes of work.  And they’re going to get that and (then) some this week.  We’ve got all week.  You have a weekend like this, with this much time off, I know as a player I was praying for the next game.  These guys are going to be glad when Friday’s here and hopefully their frustrations from this week and maybe their frustrations from the week they have in practice, they’ll take out on the opposing team next weekend.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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12 Responses to “MUST-READ: Kowalsky’s Finally Fed Up”

  1. titans04 Says:

    Good stuff Mike. We heard this stuff from Kowalsky a lot last year. Let’s see if he follows through with the threats. He’s gotta know Smith isn’t gonna cut it as anything more than a backup. If they can’t find a goalie nothing else will matter.

  2. Tdevilsfan Says:

    Exactly. These guys know they ain’t gonna score 4 a game, something they have to to with Red Light in goal to even have a sniff. So he gives up a Mr Softee and they go on autopilot.

  3. JB Says:

    Unfortunately, Rick’s hands are tied because Chris Lamoriello calls the player personnell shots. And Chris was not blessed with his father’s eye for hockey talent.

  4. chiarams Says:

    “And Chris was not blessed with his father’s eye for hockey talent.”

    Fortunately he’s got his dad’s keen ability to market hockey and sell tickets.

  5. Al (PhillyDevil) Says:

    Yeah, Lou has no idea for talent just like Chris. Lou only has one three Stanley Cups and created what is the now legendary Hockey East Association.

  6. titans04 Says:

    Um Al, nobody knocked Lou’s eye for talent, they said Chris is more or less blind when it comes to talent. For example explain why a guy like Gerbe was allowed to come in here with his terrible numbers AND not having played in 3-4 seasons, just one example nothing personal.

    The other point is they both don’t have a single clue between them on how to fill the seats. Please defend what they’ve done in Lowell and Trenton since they acquired the teams. And please don’t forget Lou riding into town on the white horse proclaiming he wanted to paint the town and state Devils red.

  7. JB Says:

    It’s telling that the Devils have a gorgeous brand new arena that is easily accessible by mass transit and a team that has been a contender pretty much every year for the last 15 years, yet they’re still in the bottom third of the NHL in attendance.

    The face of the franchise for much of those years was a goalie and (to a lesser extent) a stay at home defenseman. Having two defensive players of that caliber will certainly win you a lot of games, but it won’t get fans excited to come and watch, especially with the more established Rangers and Flyers also eating into your market.

  8. Al (PhillyDevil) Says:

    Actually I do have some answers to those questions, but I am not at liberty to write them. If I meet you, I’ll tell you them in person but I can’t write down specific things because it would not be my place. What I can say, is if there is one thing that the Devs have not been good at, it’s marketing. Bottom line, Trenton and Lowell like to develop players within the Devs system of play which is ultimately defensive hockey. I rather have that than the Flyers/Titans goon’em up and play coward hockey. If the locals or Flyer fan base contigent…remaining Titans fans don’t like it, I could care less because it’s about the crest of the NJD and our style, not their history/ past. Hell, I wish they would take down the Trenton Titans banners down. Rip down the Flyers big color portrait around the concourse..this is New Jersey Devils country and it’s hard to paint a town Devils Red when the losers of that area support a garbage franchise like the Flyers. Quite frankly, the Devils should’ve concentrated on South NJ a LONG time ago and it’s partly their own fault.

    Also, that is a big reason the Devs are having a hard time selling seats, because South NJ is fillied with many Flyers fans and they don’t want to support the Devs logo, which I can totally understand. Hell, everytime I see a Flyers fan at a game I cringe. Then again, where is SNJ in the monicker of Philadelphia Flyers? The T Devs are met with a lot of opposition by the locals because of their loyalty to the Cryers. The Devils are the ONLY pro team to adopt the name New Jersey, you think the idiots of New Jersey would support them.

    As for Lowell? Excuse me, they have many good players at that level: Zharkov, Halischuk, Eckford, Pelley, and Vasyunov. True things have been bad in Lowell, but I know it’s getting better slowly but surely. Our draft picks are coming over from Russia and Salmela will be a very good player for them. The Devils use thier minor league teams to groom for the system so they can be acclimated if they ever get to the parent club. Again, the Devils are selling the product to pre-dominantly Bruins fans.

    Whatever it is, I do agree with you that the Devs need to be better at selling tickets but it’s not as easy because of the BIG reason I listed and the few that I can’t. Essentailly, I don’t care about anyone else who does not support the Devils and our PROUD crest. I’d like to see the boys be better supported without a doubt. To be truthful, I’m not to happy with the Devils fan base on all levels, but I can only speak for me and as long as the Devils are there so will I be. At the end of the day, that is what matters to me. Last year I had to hear all of these Titans/Flyers fans complain and gripe well guess what (I am not talking about you) they can take a hike. I thank you for still supporting the team. I have to take public transportation to the games and I am not talking about that garbage Riverline, but I am willing to make that committment because I bleed Devils hockey. I can only speak for me. By the way, I am doing my part to help with my rep to help get more ideas for selling seats and some of them hopefully will be done. However, let’s just say..they are handcuffed in certain areas.

    As far as Gerbe goes, hey..I agree with you. Wish Rooney would’ve come back and worn that number with his great wrist shot, but it was his stupid decision.

    It all comes from Chris and Lou at the end and yes they could do more. However, so could the fans. I start trying to chant “Let’s Go Devils” and people look at me like I’m a loon. I rather have them chant “Let’s Go Devils” than that stupid..bang the seats crap after a goal. At least I don’t have to deal with Moses anymore. I would join the booster club if they actually took trips to road games, but I guess that passion is not there from others. If I am wrong, someone please tell me different.

    I’m not sure if the town will ever truly be painted Devils red, but I can say this..I bleed and live it and I can only speak for myself. I’ll be there watching and listening on the radio/.nternet.

    Not sure if I “defended” what the Devs are doing in Trenton or Lowell, but if people who complain are not Devils fans and are loyal to the crest of the NJD, then their opinion does not count to me.

    Not attacking you, because I don’t know you and I don’t want to come off that way. I’m sure you’re a greta person so please don’t take offense to my comments. I am thankful people like yourself actually take the time out to talk and write about our Devs.

    I will say this, thanks to the NJD for giving the 24 games and aboe season ticketholders a FREE ..very expensive ticket for the Nov. 20 game. I feel appreciated by the Devs so it is what it is.

    GO DEVILS and whomever is not down with the NJD crest, screw’em.

  9. Al (PhillyDevil) Says:

    Well, I’ll take my boring style and three cups than that garbage Flyers history filled with coward hockey and their yellow tinted Stanley Cup film footage. Or that great Rangers history that needed to sign %50 of the 80’s Oilers to win a Cup. Quite frankly, Dr. McMullen paid all three local NHL teams to move into the state of NJ. With that being said, that Flyers skate zone BS should be moved out because thre is no such thing as South NJ Flyers. It’s our

    The Devils fight an uphill battle no matter how successful they are. MY ass is planted in the Rock when I have tickets and it’s a two and half hour journey for me to the stadium and yes it’s a slap to my face that more Devs fans don’t go to games.

    By the way, there are always plenty of empty seats at Flyers games, but Flyers fans will not admit to it. That place was VACANT two years ago.
    Hell, the Flyers can’t even sell out the $20 family sections.

    I can’t stand most Devils fans because they don’t supprt the team as great I wish they would, but whatever..it’s my team and I will be there regardless.

  10. chiarams Says:

    “Hell, I wish they would take down the Trenton Titans banners down.”

    That would be par for the course with the Devils. If you think the marketing job they’re doing in Trenton/Lowell and for the big club is great, then I can’t help you.

    They were handed a brand new state of the art arena in Newark and still draw flies. The years they were a cup team tickets were plentiful even into the playoffs. They’ve got venues in Lowell and Trenton that are ~10 years old and barely break 1,000 butts in seats most nights.

    They have a checkered history of being indifferent and clueless to their affiliates going back to the Utica days.

    I loathe the Flyers as much as anyone, but I would take the Trenton teams from that era versus the Devils era in a heartbeat. I supported the Trenton moniker, and couldn’t care less who their parent team was.

    Lowell is mediocre at best this year, no matter whether or not they have a few good players. As a team, they’re brutal. They were a laughingstock last year, and going back to their Albany days, they haven’t won a playoff series at that level in 10 years.

    They’ve taken a franchise in Trenton that saw its attendance already declining, and gutted the fanbase.

    The one thing they’ve managed to accomplish is preparing their players to play in front of thousands of empty seats. That’s one thing they do conistently in Trenton, Lowell, and NJ.

    This current crop in Trenton is *pathetic* – I’m not sure a half dozen of the current active bunch could even crack the lineup of even the mediocre Armstrong-era teams. You can’t sugarcoat a turd.

    But hey, banish the Titans name all you want. Burn the banners. Ban fans from wearing Titans gear. Tell Flyers/Rangers fans their money isn’t welcome. Ignore that the Kelly Cup was ever won here.

    When a small gathering of 70 or 80 Devils fans show up to the games after that, see how long Lou & Company want to hemorrhage cash here.

    The only way they’re gonna paint Trenton “red” is if they repaint the seats. For now, they’ve done a great job of repainting Trenton “green”.

  11. tdevils Says:

    Everyone’s all fired up about the Trenton Devils…I’m liking this discussion, guys. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but I certainly welcome any discussion about the team here.

  12. Tdevilsfan Says:

    I think the Titans banners should remain; they’re a part of franchise history.

    I still think the worst thing they did was bring back Kowalsky. I haven’t seen anything that says he’s anything other than an awful coach. The final nail for me was booting Wood last year for essentially abandoning the team (good move) then letting the weasel back in (spineless).

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